Whenever I think of comfort food, the first thing that pops into my mind is rice pudding. Soft, creamy and very, very comforting. Must be baked, not cooked on the stove top, and served hot, not cold.
This particular one is flavoured with cinnamon and star anise, with a little orange zest.
2oz pudding (short grain) rice
1 pint milk
1 oz caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 oz butter
Wash rice and place in buttered oven-proof dish. Pour milk over and stir. Leave to soak for half an hour.
If you like it creamier, add a little more milk, perhaps another quarter or even half pint. Also, I often replace some of the milk with tinned coconut milk.
Add sugar and stir.
Now add your chosen flavourings. Good things to try are:
Sliver of lemon zest and sprinkle with grated nutmeg (very traditional
2 inch stick of cinnamon and 1 star anise, with orange zest.
Chocolate chunks (they'll melt) and a little powdered cardamom.
Dot the top with a little butter.
Place in the centre of oven (150C/300F) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Stir a couple of times during the first hour or so to stop the skin forming too early and burning.
For Friday Food Fiesta Comfort Food Week.